Sunday, September 27, 2009

Falling Standards ?

I've had a busy week this one past.
I seem to have been 'phoning or writing complaining every damned day to somebody or other ! Now that's not like me, I'm really not a complaining kinda guy :-(
First it was the barely run-in Microwave .,., less than 6-months old and the internal light pops !
So I call B & Q for it was supplied by them as part of our new kitchen ,,, it's an integrated unit with no visible means of changing the bulb.
Wait for this .,., eventually, after some 4-calls they decide that they don't send out engineers to fix these things .,., so they've sent to SPAIN ,,, where the micowave was manufactured, for a new one !! So we're now having an engineer come to fit a NEW £130 unit because the light bulb has blown ! Now that's what I call Progress ? ( with a capital "P" !! .. aye and that stands for PISH !!)
Next the Printer .,., as y'all probably read already, Epson printers no longer accept any ink cartridges but their own .,., so after much growling & nashing of teeth I simply took this unit back to PC World and they exchanged it for yet another (upgraded ) printer. ( This is more progress of the '00's ?? )
Last Xmas I bought my beloved a nice ( and not too cheap ! ) pair of emerald earrings and a matching necklace. This month one of the earring posts broke off ,,, she had actually predicted this happening because the design of this post was not good & different to that advertised when I bought them ( online ).
So I wrote and asked ( nicely of course ) for a full refund since the said jewellery was not fit for purpose.
No probs ,, they said sorry for your bother, send the whole kit & kaboodle back and we'll refund your money. Ok, a result here ,,, and a philosophy for all Xmas's to come I'm thinking ?? Rent-a-pressie's for 9 or 10-months ,, send it back, get the money back in time for the next year's Xmas pressie !! You've cracked it son !!
Finally, my wonderful new sound system ,,, the big Sub Woofer started cracking and growling like a demented Big Cat ,,, so guess where it's headed ? Yep. back for repair/ replacement after only about 5-months light, intermittent use !!
So the final roundup looks like this :- Microwave ( Spanish ), Printer ( Japanese ), Jewellery ( British ) and Hi Fi speaker ( Chinese/British ),.,., all rubbish in one way or another .,., This simply wouldn't have happened in my working life .,.,
I guess with all of today's mind boggling techin-ology .,.,., standards are FALLING World-Wide ?? Now isn't that Real Progress ?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ah Mad Wee Dinner Jacket !

The wee cocky Iranian, Ahmadinejad you really have to admire ?
For a wee guy he sure has balls !
He's happy ( it seems ) to take on the might of the USA & the Western world ( us included of course ) and tell them ( aye & us too ) just where we can shove our self righteous, holier-than-thou, hypocritically pious, sanctimonious smiles .,.,.,
And how can we, in all honesty, say that the wee guy's wrong ?
He's looking after his country's interests .,., looking out for #1
He may not do things the way we do but I repeat .,., what makes him all wrong and us all right ??
I've never been able to figure what gives us the right to have ( and continue to upgrade ) our Nuclear weapon arsenals ( in fact our WMD !) but tell them ( and others ) that they can't have any ?
Oh I forgot .,., we are more human than they are .,., Right ?
Or is it that our religious beliefs are much more sound than theirs then ?
Eh, we'd never imprison or torture our enemies, that must be it ?
C'mon .,., the wee guy definitely has a point here .,., somebody needs to sit down & talk to him instead of simply tossing around empty threats .,., for empty they are .,., unless of course we intend going the whole hog and Nuking Iran ???
For Christ's sake ( or should I say for Allah's sake ? ) let's get real here .,., after all the wee man says "manufacturing of WMD has never been on our agenda ".,., He might even be telling it like it is .,., they just need to generate power for industrial / domestic use ??
Aye right son ,, or maybe he just wants to have the same weaponry that his enemies have ? A very reasonable want .,., if you put yourself in his shoes ?
I wouldn't like to live in his country right enough .,., but I like this wee guy's swagger and the glint in his eye but most of all I admire the way he absolutely refuses to wear a TIE, wee dinner jacket or no', so there you go ,, he's a man after my own heart ( at least on the TIE front ! )

Friday, September 25, 2009

Epson Ink Cartridges

I have been using Epson Printers for some years now.
However, over the past 3-years or so Epson have changed their policy on Customer Service.,., drastically !
From being a once helpful and friendly company who sold reasonably priced printers, scanners, copiers etc. they have now changed tac.
Now they purport to sell cheap ( low cost ) units .,., almost at giveaway prices they say ! Ha
And so where do they make their profits then, you ask ?
Why that would be on replacement ink cartridges of course .,., the dearest ( most expensive ) part of any user's outlay.
But Epson have gone two or three stages further .,.,
The bastards are now adding software into their printers /cartridges to stop their customers using anything other than THEIR ink.
You just try getting an Epson printer to accept any "Compatible" ink cartridge nowadays !
What they are saying in effect is ,, If you don't use their (ridiculously expensive ) ink cartridges then your printer is DEFUNCT .,., a bin case !
Now I find this more than a little offensive ,, I question the legality of creating a monopoly supply, not to mention actively working to put your competition out of business !
I don't know about you but I will most definitely NOT be dictated to by Epson ( or anyone else ) as to what I can buy to use with MY property !
I don't recal Ford ever telling me what petrol I MUST use in my car ,,, the washing machine people don't try telling us which washing powder we MUST use in their machines ??
So where do these printer people get off trying to force us to use ONLY their bloody expensive ink .,., ??
I dare say their legal department have checked out this practice so technically legal it may well be ,, but morally, it's up their arse ! Absolutely bloody outrageous I call it.
I have now written to them and spelled it out ,,, I will not let this one go ,, I intend pursuing it all the way to ,, well let's try Watchdog for starters !
I also now urge all friends, relatives, friends of relatives and readers of my blog to BOYCOTT EPSON ! Let's hear it for the COMPATIBLES !!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Con ( A'm Fuckin' Thick ! )

My wee pal was over last night for a meal and a wee swally ( or three :-), him and the Missus.
We'd fed him ( handsomely I thought .,., well done my wee beloved ... what a meal that was !), wined him, beer'd & vodka'd him and were quietly having what I thought was a grown up, semi intelligent conversation ( for were't we all just a little oiled ? ,, ok, maybe not Mrs Con ,, she was being good, although she didn't tell us why ? )
Anyway, the girls frequently exchange books and this ritual had just been carried out when we decided to have a little fun with Connie, the READER ( not ) !
Con reads a book maybe every year or two, aye and that's a maybe ? ,,, and yeah, I did say ,, A BOOK !
He starts a few but if page 1 doesn't grab him by the goolies then it's quickly despatched to the nearest bin !
This is the guy who famously took some 6-months to read only 50-pages of the riveting page turner, Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code !! In his own inimitable words ,, " if it's no' the Beano or the Dandy I don't waant tae know .,., why d'ye waant tae read onywey ? .,., why dis onybody waant tae read ? I waant to watch the world ,,, see the fields ".,., ( hands upstretched like a preacher at this point ) .,., as if it was impossible to do both !!!
"Look" he says "A'm fuckin' thick ,., ten "p" short o' the bloody shillin', and a'm happy wi it !"
So there you have it, all you budding or established authors .,.,
Forget ma wee pal Connie,, he's no' the least interested in yer bloody books .,., he's away oot tae watch the world !!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nikons are Go .,.,The Re-Awakening.

It's time to take up my camera & get down to some serious photography again.The bug has been biting away at me for some months now and the last week has just convinced me to get my trigger finger out and start shooting again !
Three things have brought my re-awakening to the surface .,.,
1. Bones showed me his fantastic new lens ,, and the sensational pin sharp quality photos it's capable of taking.
2. I watched the Seeing Scotland Special on TV tonight with the excellent Charlie Waite showing some of his wonderful Scottish landscapes pics .,., and advising on some of his photography techniques. A very good teaching hour for beginners and long-in-the-tooth established photographers alike.
3. I intend showing my grand-daughter this hour long tutorial with additional helpful tips from myself ( and if she's fit enough & has ANY free time on her hands for outdoor photo shoots with all her family & work to take care of on the run up to her next baby, my daughter too ! )
So, I'm off now to have a think on some local 'ish locations for some exciting photo opportunities for me & my wee apprentice Lottie. Her next sleep over includes an early morning and dusk photo shoot ! Hope she's still as keen as her old Pumpa ?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Vampire finally got his way !

The friendly Facebook friend ( I thought ), the good Doc ,,, Bones T, finally had his evil way with me !
For some years now, on & off, for I very rarely visit his dungeon, my GP has been asking me to take these MOT bloods as he calls them !
Finally last week I stupidly went to see him to find out what his diet secret was .,., He's a big lad and had reputedly lost over 3-stones in a month or so, in fact 50 lbs in 5 weeks ,, WOW !
I was impressed and wanted to lose a bit myself ( again ) so by invitation I went to find out his secret. Silly, silly move Scudder ! This daft boy is on a 500 calories a day, 4-cup-a-soups ( light variety ! ) and water .,., No solid food whatsoever .,., No nothing else at all .,., Eh, and him a doctor too ??
Well I said, ta very much, but you can count me out of that one ! I'll get back to talking to old Dr. Atkins, a much safer bet.
That did it ,,, Oh well he says, at your age we should just check your bloods before you go back on the diet ,, what was your last Cholesterol reading ??
Eh,,, never had it checked in my life I'm afraid, says I .,., I just follow my old Ma's advice and go to work on an egg ,, with toast and lots of butter of course !
We'll get the nurse to do your MOT next week he says .,., just come in before you hit the golf course, it'll take a mere 10-minutes .,.,.
What could I do ? I suppose I've put this MOT off long enough and I'm not getting any younger !
So, today I got introduced to Janice, who took my height, ( a little on the short side at 5'-10" for my weight ! ) weight, ( definitely now on the heavy side again at just under 16-stone ! Oops, how did that happen ) blood pressure ( I don't remember the numbers but it was fine )
All the while talking she filled about 5 of these little vials with my bloods .,., hey that's nearly an arm full as old Tony would have said !!
They're now going off to, God knows where, to check the function of my liver, kidneys, prostate, diabetes and on & on ,,, so 10-days from now I should know if I've got much longer for this world or if I should dig out that Will !!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Actually Techin-ology sucks !

I'm having nightmares again with all this bloody new-world techin-ology !
The son visited yesterday .,., hardly was he in the door two minutes when he asks .,.,
So Dad, have you up-graded ( or was it up dated ? ) your Wii ( or was it my PS3 ? )
I put on my most knowing, educated face and replied ,,, Eh ? Whit ??
He then proceeded to take my hand sets ,, ( I think he needs to take my hand these days and forget the bloody sets ! ) it was actually BOTH the Wii and the PS3 in the end ,, and go thro' some kind of ritual kneeling at the feet of the great Tv set on the wall ,, the new Hal of the 21st. century ?
A lengthy high mass of button pressing ensued after which I received "The Demo Run", to show me all this exciting new stuff now at my fingertips !! Very interesting, clever even, the new features flashed over my screen ,, but, I ask myself ( quietly, out of hearing range of my son's ears ! ) will I EVER find these things again ,,,?
Appparently I have new games, news channels, superbly accurate all world weather ( according to the son so much better than our own home based wee Heather .,., sorry hen but it wisnae me that said that ! ) .,., new inter -connectivity of my Wii with the internet ( I can now access the WWW via the Pc, the PS3 or the Wii .,., Wow ,, will it ever end ? And a huvnae even mentioned the new iPhones doing the rounds yet !
I really believe we oldies now need some kind of new "back to college refresher course" to deal with today's techin-ology .,., a certificate of competence should be issued before they allow us to buy such toys ? We could do this course online and I thought .,.,.,of course .,.,
Certificates could be issued via Facebook or Twitter :-)

Friday, September 04, 2009

They got that one right !

Loved the new site being talked about in this morning's newspaper .,.,
It's for Politicians only use .,., called Two-Facebook !!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

As I was Saying, Techin-ology is a "wonerful" thing !

Oh yeah, I just knew this was going to be a fun week or two .,.,
The Wii thingy came into its own this pm !
The daughter, her man, and all the myriad of grandkids came a calling .,., ( always feels a bit like Central Station here when they all come together ! )
First Marcel, who had already created his Wii-Mii character some days ago got back in action trying to beat his now 31-year old granny's records at Ski jumping, and slalom ski racing .,., !
Then Charlotte too created her image and tackled Yoga exercises .,., followed by a few ski jumps too. The little kids were enjoying trying some of this stuff too ,, without actually "being there", but jumping on and around whoever was on the fit board !
Next, and last for the day, of course up jumps Thomas .,., you could see he'd been itching to join in the fun since he came in the door ,, the poor guy simply couldn't resist the temptation any longer ,,
Up he got, made his image and started off with some Yoga ,, but with tight jeans on !!
Mmmmm, it was near impossible for him .,., so naturally .,., off they came .,., the breeks , the socks, ( I stopped looking then ! ) .,., if he was going to do this stuff then Thomas was going to do it right .,., Ohhelpmaboab ! ( I was real worried now ,, for didn't these boxer shorts look a little on the tight side too ??? )
God ( & Thomas' mum ) help us if they come off next I thought .,., and of course Thomas also has another BIG problem .,., no, no, not that ! ,, the guy's just too tall for this wee house of mine ,, doing his Yoga he can actually hold himself steady by pressing his fingers into the ceiling !!
Now I call that chea.,., eh, unfair advantage !
He's also a central 'ish European, so skiing comes naturally to him ! Chea,,, chea,,,
But I feared for the overhead light shade when he leapt up into his jump position ! Ohhh eh .,.,
Anyway I now see quite clearly ( and tried to tell Thomas at the time ,, but alas he didn't hear me ,, having far too much FUN !! ) that there is a gap in the market place for this new techin-ology .,.,
An outdoor version for playing in the garden is a definite necessity ,,,, in fact a bloody MUST lest the living rooms in both our houses are reduced to Keep-Fit rubble ,,
I now give you my laughter-tonic-attached-picture ( above ) .,.,
Case now rested :-) !!

Talkin' "Techin-ology" !

That word btw, was orginated by my dear grand-daughter, Lottie, when she came home from school one day ( at about 5 years and 1 week old ! ) & told us she now had the "techin-ology "! Anyway, I had another go at learning some new stuff myself today ! No, you're never too old !!
Having watched the son re-programme my TV / multi unit remote control hand set from his house while it was in mine !! I figured, I need to keep up here or get lost in this new techin-ology abyss !
So, I now have a new programme on my Pc .,., it's called Simplify Media .,., this clever little programme lets me access stuff on my son's Pc !! I can look at ( and use ,, ie, play songs from ) his juke box ,, his photo albums etc ,, without the need to visit !
Of course the down side to this "ology" is that he can also access my Pc ,, :-(
( I better watch what I download in future I guess !! )
But isn't that amazing ,, I can have free input to his entire record collection ( so to speak ) and play the stuff on my home music system .,.,
This stuff could be kinda mind-blowing to an older guy than me you know !!
Next I decided I wanted to make up some MP3 discs to play music of my choice in my new car, which of course incorporates not only the old fashioned Cd player but also the more advanced MP3 system ,, Ooooph ya .,.,
So, I set about creating a Play List ( showing off again am I ? ) ) of some 800 of my favourite songs .,., this took me a day or two to drag & drop from the Juke box .,., however I then asked the Pc to Burn this lot onto a disc ( or 4 ) .,., ( I asked nicely too ! )
The entire burning process for 2Gb, 48-hours worth, or to put it simply, 800 songs, took less than 10-minutes .,., and all done in full surround sound quality !!
I can remember when you could only record plastic gramaphone records onto a tape using a microphone sat in front of the single record player speaker .,., ( and that was Hi Tech then ) and you also got every other noise in the house on the same recording ! The budgie tweetering away in the background ( no, I don't mean Twittering ! .,., that's another subject for another blog ! ) and Ann's old man shouting at it to shut up .,.,
Christ, I can even remember changing the sapphire needle every 3 or 4 plays of the old 78 rpm records !
Boy but we've come a long way from there have we not ?

A New Era ?

I noticed of late that my Blog was becoming one of moan, groan, angst & anger.
So, for the next wee while at least I'm only gonna write happy stuff !
You see, I am fundamentally a happy-go-lucky kinda guy .,.,
Recently herself & me both bought new cars .,., well you need toys to enjoy retirement !
I got a £200 road tax rebate on my old car ( I had just taxed it for a year prior to selling it and I was damned sure Arnold Clarke wasn't getting it ! Oops sorry, that was almost a rant coming on ! .,., Anyway, I cashed it in )
My beloved had been hankering for a Wii Fit thingy so I bought it for her with this cash-back from Swansea ! Console, hand set, games Cd, and the Wii Fitness Board !
Haha, You'd actually think I knew what I was talking about here wouldn't you ? .,., Don't be fooled .,., the son helped us install it all doing practically everything on Skype from his computer to ours !! See today's techin-ology, it's pure magic intit !!
Anyway, one of the things that has been making me happy ( actually giggling like a teenager ) over the past week or two now is watching my beloved enjoy herself. Not only having fun, she's becoming so fit, losing weight jogging, jumping, skiing, playing tennis, doing Yoga, .,., the bloody machine talks to her and tells her daily her weight, her Fitness age and even chastises her if she misses a session ! She does all this with a huge grin on her face, talking back to the TV screen .,., it's either Fun or Senility, I'm not sure which yet ? Wii tells her she now has the fitness & body of a 38 year old ( this doesn't please the daughter ! ) But it's now even getting me interested in trying it !! I mean, if I have to keep up with a 38-year old bod .,.,., Yabadabadoooooo !!